Hypholoma lateritium – Brick Caps

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Brick Caps (Hypholoma lateritium) are edible mushrooms that can be found on hardwood stumps and deadwood from August-November. They can be found throughout the United States but are most common in the Northeast.
Brick caps grow in bouquet-like, dense, tight clusters. The cap has a brick red color in the center, fading to a lighter color at the margins. Young specimens have a partial veil covering the gills. Gills are crowded and cream-colored when young, developing purplish or brownish hues with age. Spore print is purplish brown.
Brick caps, called “Kuritake” in Japan, often grow in large groups. They are edible but can develop a bitter flavor when old or buggy. Young specimens have a slightly nutty flavor. Stems should be removed as they are tough. Caps can be cooked similarly to white button mushrooms.
Brick caps must be differentiated from the poisonous Sulfur tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare). Sulfur tufts have a yellowish cap, while brick caps will always have reddish caps. Sulfur tufts also have yellowish-green gills.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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